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Flowing noodles

More commonly (or really, exclusively) known as Nagashi Somen.

Sam & Sharon’s visit was serendipitously the same weekend we did nagashi somen at church.

You can look up more about this tradition here, but basically you take long sticks of bamboo sliced in half, hollowed, and then set up sort of like a mini water slide.  Cold running water is poured into one end and then small “packets” (for lack of a better word) of somen (skinny Asian wheat noodles) are “flowed” down the slide to be caught with chopsticks by people along the way.

It’s actually not easy.  You tend to get somen and water everywhere and a lot of somen ends up in the basket at the end which catches the extras.

Somen is a popular summer food in Japan, but this was the first time I (and of course Sam & Sharon) had done it with the bamboo slides.  Tons of fun!  And delicious too.  You dip the noodles in a cold broth and then top it with cucumbers, ham, sliced egg, green onions, and mushrooms.  Perfect for a hot summer day!

I never really realized how many dishes are noodle-based in Japan but during their trip we also had udon, tsukemen, yakisoba, okonomiyaki (this usually doesn’t have noodles, but in Hiroshima it does).  We didn’t even have ramen, since the girls were going to get some during their day in Osaka.

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